Why Use an Air Charter Service Broker?
It’s a fair question and one that we encourage our clients to ask. Just what are the benefits of utilizing the services of an air charter broker? Could you work with an air carrier directly? Of course, you can. You can also represent yourself in court, sell real estate without a realtor, even remove a sore tooth without any professional guidance or assistance. The reason why most of us would not attempt any of these undertakings (especially the tooth – ouch) is that we lack two important things; experience and expertise. This holds true for the air charter market, a place that can be very difficult to navigate for the uninitiated. You don’t know what you don’t know!
Top 5 Benefits of Utilizing an Air Charter Broker
#1 Professional Experience and Expertise
A seasoned professional can bring years of experience, market presence, know-how and relationships to complex transactions. An air charter service broker can bring those same benefits to your air charter experience. Chartering an aircraft can be complicated, and mistakes can be costly. More importantly, few people can provide expert and objective advice when selecting the best operator and the best aircraft. The lone wolf trying to work on their own has little if any history to from which to select an operator and aircraft.
#2 Is Everyone Really that Amazing?
The sales process is just that – selling you something. How do you cut through an air carrier’s marketing message to get a sense of how their product really is? How do you objectively evaluate each option? That can only come with expertise and experience. An established charter brokerage will arrange hundreds if not thousands of charters annually. This market experience is very powerful and translates into the expertise that can be put to work for you in selecting an operator that will deliver as advertised. The third-party audit services that brokers provide are invaluable in helping you to make the best value choice, instead of simply the lowest price choice.
#3 Operational Expertise
Our clients include airlines that rely on our logistical expertise to arrange aircraft services at some of the busiest airports in the nation, as well as at international locations. The last thing you need for your corporate event is to find out that the airline was unfamiliar with arranging services at a particular airport, resulting in the need to move your flight to a different airport entirely. The same can be true for a broker – they should know a lot more than you do, otherwise, why would you need them? A quality broker will work with their air carrier partners to coordinate aircraft and passenger services, ensuring that when challenges arise (this is aviation, count on it), the team that you have put in place will be with you every step of the way to reach a solution.
#4 Wait, what? The Flight’s Delayed!?
Yes. Even with charters, delays happen. The United States has the safest aviation system in the world. Our aircraft operators are our partners, and we collectively place safety above schedule – every time. Flights can be also be delayed due to reasons such as weather, air traffic control congestion, and mechanical malfunctions. Hope is not a strategy. Rather than crossing fingers for an on-time departure, an experienced broker will discuss contingency plans with you ahead of time, building in an action plan should there be a delay. Well-planned is well-managed. Lastly, a broker with a large book of business will be in a superior position than a retail customer with only a few flights to contract, or in many cases a single flight, when it comes to advocating on your behalf.
#5 Demurrage, Cabotage, CFRs, Oh My
Air charter contracts, especially when utilizing a commercial airline, can be very complex. Without aviation experience, it can be difficult to understand sections of an air charter contract. Even an attorney can struggle with negotiating with an air carrier unless they have aviation law experience. A broker knows what items are negotiable, and what items (often due to regulatory constraints) are not. Once again – experience matters.
We respect air charter consumers that decide to “go it alone”. We also encourage you to consider the many benefits of working with an established, reputable and trusted agent. The savings realized by not utilizing a professional broker are very often outweighed by the costs of trying to navigate the difficult air charter market on your own.